Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I'm getting so excited for our trip to Africa and it's getting so close, only 50 more days! Things seem to be coming together quite nicely...plane tickets reserved, fundraiser concert planned, mentally packed...and started my shots!
Yesterday I got inoculated (such a funny word!) for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, MMR, Tetanus and Polio booster. I know, sounds fun and I'm sure you are super jealous. (Don't worry, I have an appointment to get 2 more shots, and you can totally come with me!) I got 3 shots in my left arm and 2 in my right. My right arm hurts worse than my left one though. But my right arm is sporting two nice little rashes...a small price to pay to be able to meet my boy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So far my biggest fear for the trip to Africa isn't that I have to get a bunch of shots or that I may not have enough money. I know those things will be taken care of. My fear is that I will be alone...what?!??!? In a village of almost 600 orphans and traveling with a group if 10 I should not even have that thought. But I do. I don't really know the people I am traveling with; but that is changing. Everyone is super nice, but what if they don't like me... The crazy things my mind thinks.
Well I prayed about it the other day. I prayed that I not feel alone and that I make friends on this trip. I prayed for lots of things...and I got my answer. Minutes after praying I turned on my iPod, put it on shuffle and the song "Never Alone" by Mercy Me came on. The lyrics..."then a voice comes calling out to me you're never alone cause I am with you and I will always be" Then, next song...another Mercy Me (my iPod shouldn't play the same artist back to back!) this time it's "Here Am I".

Ok God, send me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yes, I'm American...and I want that to change.

Tonight I was contacted by one of the people pulling things together for this trip and was given the info for the vaccinations we'll need before we go. She told me the Yellow Fever shot was $84. Then she told me it was another $3 for a booklet of some sort...I was still in shock from the cost of the actual shot I missed out on what this $3 item really was :)

Why did I think these shots would be free? What an American way to think. I have access to so much already, so much that I take for granted. I have all the food I could want, I have a comfortable place to live, I have a wonderful job...and I want free vaccinations. Could I possibly be anymore selfish? While I'm shocked at how much a shot is, a shot that I can afford to pay for, someone in Africa or South America is suffering from Yellow Fever.

While this trip is not free, I am learning a valuble lesson that is. I am realizing how lucky I am, how much I have, and to appreciate both.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Heart Ngariam...

well, that's what my shirt says anyway. Can it be true? Can I really love a place I've never been? Can I love a place that I know next to nothing about? The simple answer is YES. The more complicated answer is YES. I love Ngariam because that is the home of my boy.

I wear this shirt often because I know that people will ask about it. I jump at the opportunity to explain to people what it means. I was once asked by a stranger at the movie theater what my shirt said. Poor people, they just don't know what they have coming when they ask that question!

In December I accepted, rather was blessed with, an awesome opportunity to sponsor an orphan from this village. Even though I've never met this boy, my boy, I feel so connected to him. I look at his picture everyday, it's in my cubicle at work, on my fridge at home and on my computer...and everyday seeing his dirty confused face makes me smile. I thought I would be changing his life, sponsoring him for a measly $34 a month, and instead he has completely and indescribably taken over my heart. I don't have children, but I can only assume that I feel for him the way a mom feels for her kids. Knowing that he does without breaks my heart. I worry about him working too hard and I worry about him not having enough time to be a "kid" I wonder what he's learning in school and hoping that he is eating enough. I love this little boy that I've only ever seen a picture of. I love knowing that the love I have for him is only a fraction of the love that God has for him.

As a sponsoring church we will have opportunities to visit Ngariam. I am blessed to be a part of the first team to go. In May I will have the chance to go to this place called Ngariam, this place that my shirt says I love and I will have a chance to fall in love with it on another level. Not just as the home of my boy, the place where he eats, sleeps, goes to school, works harder than I can imagine, where he is thankfully learning about Jesus; but on a personal level. I will be able to fall in love with the landscape, the culture, the everything that Ngariam is and the everything that Ngariam isn't. I will have a better appreciation of what my boy does and indures on a daily basis. I hope to fall into a place deeper then love, whatever that may be.